Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Four Box Trick

We (me and Mike Peatman) were playing with this little grid. Every situation in the church can be analysed with four boxes, carefully labelled of course. Welcome back into the Mustard Seed Shavings massive generalisation vortex.

Is the pastor an activist? Is (s)he driven to do stuff, or a person who prioritises faith and prayer over dirty hands? That is the bottom scale. We've called it faith / works for ease of labelling. You can choose your own.

Now. Is the congregation largely active? Do they prefer doing to being? Do they love getting on with jobs or do they prefer quiet mornings and sagelike contemplation?

Illustration 2 takes a wild guess at what a church would look like if the criteria were extreme. We haven't labelled illustration 1, mainly to annoy you.

So, a church with an activist congregation and an activist vicar. Driven will be the watchword. All go. Vision and goal-setting until you all die of overwork.

Illustration 2
A church with a gentle, prayerful pastor and a congregation that likes to do things will be very busy doing nothing. Bit of that, bit of this, jumble sale, coffee morning, one-off fundraiser, all feeling nicely pastored but without any sense of direction.

A driven leader and a compliant, direction-seeking congregation will take you into cult territory if you're not careful. Or off on many pilgrimages and prayer walks.

A meditative minister and a peace-seeking congregation sounds like the Quakers to me.

So, for your leadership team or just for fun:

Where is your church now?

Is there an ideal place that it should be? (Clue: probably not bang in the middle.)

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